Why the fuss? It just so happens that skadden.com was the website for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & From, a firm that had donated $176,575 to John Kerry 's presidential campaign as of mid-June 2004. To put things in perspective, this is more money than any other big Kerry backers, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan, and Microsoft, donated to Kerry 's campaign as of October 1, 2004.
"And while the Post points out that Leo Hindery had ties to Gephardt, it should be noted that he testified before Kerry 's communications committee as well.
"So you have a $50,000 contribution from Kerry fundraiser Robert Torricelli, legal expertise provided by Kerry 's largest contributor, and a major donor from an industry that Kerry was responsible for regulating, " Brazeau explained. "Those are the dots. Connect them how you like. "
Given this, it 's abundantly clear that the grassroots efforts of Howard Dean, Inc., were being taken on by insider money. Recognizing the challenge, Al Gore boarded the ship he hoped would not succumb to the rocky waters of Washington politics. But this scandal was just the tip of the iceberg, inevitably dashing Dean 's prospects of winning his party 's nomination as Democratic scorn prevailed.
DNC fundraising guru Terry McAuliffe was also ostensibly involved -- perhaps directly -- in Jones ' anti-Dean propaganda. Leo Hindery, the former CEO of Global Crossing, donated $1,140,000 to the Democratic Party during the 2002 congressional race. Slim-Fast diet mogul S. Daniel Abraham, meanwhile, forked over $1,450,000 to the Democratic Party that same year.
McAuliffe tapped into these fat cats ' resources, scoring a bundle of cash -- some $18 million -- for himself when he ditched his Global Crossing stock in 1999. But McAuliffe 's tie to the anti-Deaniacs didn 't end there. Along with McAuliffe, Bernard Schwartz, who donated $15,000 to Jones ' group, was a plaintiff in a 1998 lawsuit over the alleged breaching of export regulations between the US and China.
In fact, Schwartz, the chairman and CEO of Loral Space & Communications, has a long history of complicity in Democratic scandals. In 1994, he gave the DNC $100,000 and visited China with President Clinton 's Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Their trip yielded an annual $250 million package for cellular telephone service in the country. Two years later in 1996, Schwartz wrote Clinton urging him to allow Loral to use Chinese rockets to launch their multi-million dollar satellite. The Chinese and Loral officials had been in negotiations since 1994, under the auspices of a contract Loral had with their contractor Intelsat. Schwartz was upset, as his Republican-backing competitors, Lockheed Martin and Hughes Aircraft, had been operating in China for some time.
Despite overt objections by the Defense Department and Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Clinton personally transferred jurisdiction of satellite-export licensing from the State Department to Commerce Secretary and ex-chairman of the DNC Ron Brown. At the same time, Schwartz increased his contributions to the Democratic Party, making him the largest single contributor in the 1996 election cycle. Later that same year Clinton signed a waiver that allowed Schwartz 's Loral Space Company to export a satellite they had manufactured to China.
"[Schwartz] was honored on his 71st birthday with a private White House dinner. It's because of this access, Clinton's critics suggest, that the president rubber-stamped Loral's launches in China -- even after Loral apparently ignored security procedures in 1996 by faxing Beijing a draft report about a Chinese rocket crash that destroyed a Loral satellite, " Ken Silverstein wrote in Mother Jones in November 1998. "But campaign cash and personal ties are only the obvious way that Loral -- and the defense industry -- buys favors in Washington. An in-depth look shows that thousands of former Pentagon workers routinely go to work for arms makers and defense industry consultants upon their retirement, and confidential memos obtained by Mother Jones from such a company show how easily these cozy relationships influence legislation, " Silverstein contended.
And in 2002, Loral paid $14 million to the State Department after Schwartz was charged with aiding the Chinese 's missile technology research by faxing the draft report. Their payment was a sort of legal plea bargain intended to close the book on the 1996 matter. In July 2003, shortly after this payment, Loral went bankrupt. But thanks to a nudge from Republicans and their main advisory, Lockheed Martin, the company is now making its way back to the top. And while thousands of employees have since been laid off in Loral 's Silicon Valley home because of the ordeal, Schwartz is -- not surprisingly -- still riding high.
Given that this is how big money works for "Washington Democrats, " it is little wonder that Schwartz wanted to punish Dean for challenging the DC norm, even if the presidential hopeful had only stumbled into the role of "maverick progressive " by accident. The truth is, Schwartz didn 't want this new base of Democratic activists to take over the party he did business with.
Evidently, Dean 's movement scared the money-hungry Democrats right out of their thousand-dollar suits. McAuliffe, Reed, Kerry, Gephardt, and the Clintons were terrified of what he could do to the party they worked so hard to build during the 1990s. It didn 't matter that Dean was ideologically aligned with these centrist Democrats -- his grassroots cash was a genuine threat to party brass.
As DLC leaders Reed and From commented in another memo on Kerry 's and John Edwards ' successful campaigns in Iowa, "Two months ago, when former Gov. Howard Dean's campaign appeared to be running away with the Iowa caucuses, Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards spoke to the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner and made the same prophetic point: Democrats need to offer answers, not just anger. "
"Now the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party has spoken: Iowa was a landslide victory for hope over [Howard Dean] anger. The word 'stunning ' hardly does service to the performance of Kerry and Edwards in Iowa. Up against all of Howard Dean's endorsements and organization, Kerry and Edwards each won more delegate shares (the arcane measurement used to judge success in Iowa) than Dean and Rep. Dick Gephardt combined. Kerry's victory and Edwards' strong second weren't just stirring comebacks for those two campaigns. They represent an inspiring comeback for the Democratic Party.
"Iowa was also a triumph for a Democrat who wasn't on the ballot: the original Comeback Kid, Bill Clinton, " they boasted. "The Dean campaign has done everything it can to run away from Clintonism, even calling the historic progress under Clinton nothing more than 'damage control. ' By contrast, Kerry and Edwards followed the Clinton playbook ... While Dean defined himself as everything Bush is not, Kerry and Edwards set their own course for the country. They supported the war against Saddam Hussein and ... they also pledged muscular internationalism to unite the world against terror, a return to fiscal discipline and Clintonomics, bold plans to expand opportunity for the forgotten middle class.
"Indeed, the Iowa results represent a vindication for the Blair Democrats who supported the war in Iraq. Even Democrats with serious doubts about Iraq want America to succeed there, and want a nominee who can pass the test as Commander-in-Chief. "